The skies were a shade of grey not dissimilar to the Rapha grey longsleeve jersey, and the heavens opened and seemed reluctant to subside.
However, in the heart of Regents Park, the Garden Cafe was pleasantly warm and filled with welcoming cheer courtesy of Rapha, namely in the form of shelter, coffee, wine and of course, cake. The full range of products was out of display for attendees to test ride around the park (and one would be hard pushed think of a better way to test their fabulous stowaway jacket in such miserable conditions). Many ladies opted to don the robust all conditions jacket and head out into the drizzle to put it through its paces.
Rapha had staff on hand (even their MD) to mingle with the ladies (and a handful of men too) who had braved the abismal weather , and discuss their debut ladies capsule range. The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastioc, as the tills rung and suddenly the cafe turned into a rich sea of red stowaways and cream armwarmers.
After refreshments were enjoyed by the group, it was time to present the Rapha Condor ladies racing team. The six riders were presented to the group and the various equipment sponsors were detailed to the crowd. Their lineup features some fantastic talent, and I cant wait to see them harvest some results this year. I really hope that they own the race at the Smithfield Nocturne, on home ground...
Their full team roster is Claire Beaumont, Rachel Przybylski, Angharad Mason, Tracy Corbett, Natasha Perry and Rebecca Curley.
The team then rode a few laps around the park, inviting anyone wishing to join in along. It was great to speak to their riders in a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere, getting to ask them all about their backgrounds and their racing schedules for the season.
Overall it was a lovely evening, and Rapha should seriously consider organising more (perhaps bi-monthly) informal rides for their female clientele. The whole evening was relaxed and friendly and it exactly whats needed to kick start more women into riding togther and igniting a passion for riding. Congratulations must go to Laura for organising a most enjoyable evening, its such a pity the weather put a dampener on things. Hopefully more of these events will come to fruition. It would be fantastic to enter summer looking forward to social rides where women can feel at ease and perhaps learn some skills such as group riding, and become motivated by having a regular group ride to attend and meet like minded riders.